It Was A Short Weekend

For most Americans, the typical weekend begins around 5 PM on Friday and ends around 5 AM on Mondays.  That didn’t happen to me this weekend; for me it started in the middle of Saturday afternoon.  I was called in to work another six hours of overtime, this time on Saturday.

Don’t worry, I didn’t have anything big planned that would have gotten in the way.  I just did my laundry on Saturday night instead of Saturday morning, and of course, I still had time for church on Sunday.  The extra pay helps a lot too, and it is a sign that the company (and my supervisor) like me.  I haven’t felt this appreciated in the workplace since December 2009, when my previous employer gave out Christmas hams to all the workers.

Still, if the company offers me permanent employment in December or in 2012, it may be difficult to accept.  It would mean giving up the house we have now, in a better-than-average neighborhood in Kentucky, and from what I’ve seen so far, finding a place just as good here in Connecticut would be a challenge.  Furthermore, since Leive finds Kentucky too cold for at least half the year, I don’t picture her being happy in a climate that is even colder.

Therefore I currently expect to return to Kentucky, whenever this assignment is finished.  I don’t know of any job prospects in Kentucky, so I could end up in the same situation that I was in before coming to Connecticut.  The trump card that could change that is my Pre-Paid Legal business, so I’m going to try harder to get that going here in Connecticut.  If I can build a PPL group here (in a city that doesn’t have one now), and become an executive director in the process, I’ll be able to claim this sojourn in New England was a complete success.

The Siberian Traps, A Creationist Opinion

Recently I learned about a startling rock formation called the Siberian Traps, created at a time when at least half of Siberia looked like the lava planet from “Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith.”  I have just posted a footnote about them in Chapter 10 of The Genesis Chronicles.  Quote:

The world’s largest igneous rock formation is in western Siberia, and called the "Siberian Traps" ("traps" is Swedish for "steps," a lot of the mountains and cliffs look like stairs). Today Siberia is usually thought of as a cold wasteland, fit only for white tigers, wolves, and Russian prisoners, but at one point in prehistoric times, it was the site of the largest known eruption. And this was not a case of a single volcano erupting, or even a chain of volcanoes; the earth’s crust cracked so badly that the whole western half of Siberia, an area larger than Europe, melted down! Evolutionists date this catastrophe to the late Permian period, and suggest that it not only killed off 90 percent of the world’s life, but it also marked the dividing line between the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. My response is to suggest that the Siberian Traps are the most visible evidence of the destruction of the earth’s surface, that occurred at the time of Noah’s Flood. The reason why this formation is so well preserved is that they are in an area that is covered by ice and snow for most of the year, and where there hasn’t been much human activity over the millennia.

Two Strange African Wars

I love to add odd stories to my history papers, and Africa definitely has more than its share of them.  Especially odd war stories; check out what I wrote about World War I in Africa for some examples.  Now here are two stories I forgot to put in Chapter 7, about strange wars that happened in Africa around 1900.  You can see the history paper itself right here, but if all you want are the new paragraphs, read on to see what I added:

The Anglo-Zanzibar War

Meanwhile on the east coast, the sultan of Zanzibar died, and his cousin, Khalid bin Barghash, immediately took charge. However, the British preferred another candidate, Hamud bin Muhammed, and an 1886 treaty required any candidate for sultan to get the permission of the British consul before taking the throne. Khalid hadn’t done this, so the British ordered him to leave his palace; instead, Khalid barricaded himself inside with guards loyal to him. Two days later (August 27, 1896), the British showed up with five warships, 150 marines and sailors, and 900 African soldiers, and began to bombard the palace. A royal yacht and two other Zanzibari boats were sunk, and the bombardment quickly took out the palace’s gun battery. Either 38 or 45 minutes later, the shelling stopped as the pro-British Africans approached the palace, and it was all over. It doesn’t matter which clock was accurate; the Anglo-Zanzibar War was the shortest war in history. An estimated 500 Zanzibaris were killed or wounded; the only British casualty was one seriously injured petty officer, who later recovered. Khalid went into exile, and Hamud was installed as the next sultan; however, he needed to find a new headquarters, because the palace and harem were so badly damaged from the bombardment that they had to be torn down.

The War of the Golden Stool

 The Ashanti let Prempeh be taken into exile because the alternative was war. They knew that they would probably lose any war with the British, and then the British would take away their most prized possession, the king’s golden stool (see Chapter 6, footnote #29). Even so, in 1900 the governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Frederick Hodgson, came to Kumasi and demanded that the Ashanti fetch the golden stool, because (1) it now belonged to the queen of England, and (2) he had the right to sit on it, now that the Ashanti had no king. After the governor’s speech, the Ashanti dispersed, but instead of getting the stool, they collected weapons, and the queen mother of the tribe, Yaa Asantewaa, organized an army to fight back (this, by the way, was the last war in African history in which a woman led one side). When the British soldiers on the scene decided to go looking for the stool, they were ambushed, and the survivors were driven back to Kumasi. There they were besieged by 12,000 Ashanti warriors for three months, until Britain could send reinforcements to rescue them and break the siege. In the end the Ashanti suffered 2,000 casualties, not counting civilians, and the British annexed their territory and exiled the queen mother as well. Still the Ashanti claimed victory in the War of the Golden Stool. Why? First, they killed 1,007 British; a ratio of one British casualty to every two Ashanti casualties is impressive, considering that the British had four Maxim guns. Second, and even more important, the British never got to sit on their stool. The Ashanti hid the stool so well that nobody saw it again for twenty years. As for King Prempeh, he was allowed to return in 1924.

I Survived the Great American Heat Wave

It’s still very hot in other parts of the country, but here in Connecticut last week’s heat wave is behind us.  For most of the day it was drizzling with a temperature around 69 degrees, almost thirty degrees below last week’s highs.  Don’t you love it?  My apartment must be well insulated, because the inside temperature has gone down very slowly, even though I opened three windows and ran the fans.  According to the thermometer I bought at Wal-Mart, the temperature indoors was 93 on Friday evening, 90 on Saturday, 86-88 on Sunday, and 81 now.

I spent the last three nights sleeping in the room with the air conditioner, as mentioned previously.  I had to re-inflate the leaky old airbed once or twice a day, but otherwise everything went all right, and to minimize electricity use, I only ran the A/C when I was in the room.  Now I’m back in the room where I prefer to stay (I don’t want to become too dependent on the other room, in case I get a new room mate at a later date).  According to my favorite weather website,, in this climate the hottest day of the year is likely to fall on or near August 2, so I can’t declare summer over just yet –- the peak is still a week ahead of us!

Here We Go Again, UN

“If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”–Abba Eban, former Israeli foreign minister and UN envoy

The problem with the Durban conferences that the United Nations holds on racism is that most of the participating nations are for it.  Well, a specific kind of racism.  Prejudice against blacks, Asians, and indigenous peoples of any kind may no longer be in fashion, but anti-Semitism still is, so long as you give it a euphemism like “anti-Zionism.”

A few years ago, I saw a four-panel cartoon which showed individuals you would not put in charge of certain things.  The first panel showed a fox in charge of a henhouse.  The second panel showed a vampire at the front desk in a blood bank.  The third panel showed a shark dressed as a lifeguard.  And the fourth panel showed the UN Human Rights Commission, which at that time was run by dictatorships like Cuba, Zimbabwe, China, Libya, Syria and Sudan.  Therefore we shouldn’t take any UN declaration very seriously, considering that it’s likely to be coming from a tyrant.

Here is a video that explains why anti-Zionism is so popular in the UN.  That organization’s behavior since the mid-1970s is all the more amazing when one recalls that Israel was created by a UN vote in 1947.

Because the UN is corrupt and inefficient as well as anti-Semitic, when I saw the cartoon described above, I also heard a proposal to replace the UN with an organization called the “League of Democracy” or the “Alliance of Freedom.”  Whereas the UN allows every nation (except Taiwan) to join, this organization would only be open to countries that (1) have democratic governments, and (2) are committed to fighting terrorism.  Is anyone still seriously considering this proposal?  I think it’s time to bring it up again.

Not A Spartan Today

I told readers about living a Spartan lifestyle here in Connecticut, since my arrival in early June.  I’m doing it mainly so I can make ends meet in this overpriced New England state, and still support Leive, Brin-Brin, and the house back in Kentucky.  The only luxuries I have allowed myself are my computer and one meal out a week (not a fancy meal, either).  Oh, and one carton of spumoni in the freezer.  That ice cream is hard to find in the other states where I’ve lived, and I had forgotten how good it is.  I also told about leaving the good room in my apartment available (the one with the TV set and air conditioner), in case I get another room mate.

Well, today I had to put the Spartan lifestyle on the back burner, in the name of survival.  Sorry, Leonidas.  It’s because of the current heat wave afflicting thirty states in the country, especially the northeast.  The outside temperature was in the eighties and nineties all day, with a heat index well above 100.  No amount of window opening or fan positioning could cool down the apartment; the inside temperature stayed at 90 degrees all night, so I couldn’t sleep.  In the morning I had to take two showers in a three-hour period, and I looked forward to doing overtime at work, not because of the extra pay so much as the opportunity to spend most of the day in a place that isn’t stewing.  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve had this much trouble escaping from the heat since 1985, when I was at Leive’s house in the Philippines.

When I got home the temperature inside the apartment was 93, so I broke out the old airbed (the leaky one I used last month), and inflated it in the room with the air conditioner.  That will allow me to sleep comfortably, anyway, because it takes at least a day for the air in the bed to escape.  Call it my estivation mode, at least until the heat wave breaks; it looks like that will happen tomorrow night.  And I’m still not turning on the TV, as long as I can blog and continue my other activities online.  See you when it cools down.

Heated Out

Boy, it has been hot yesterday and today, even here in New England.  It is now 90 degrees in the apartment as I write this.  Normally I would be taking tomorrow off, but the boss asked me to come in and work eight hours, and I’ll be more comfortable there than if I stayed home.  Anyway, it has been two weeks since I wrote about what I have been doing in Connecticut, so this message will be an update.

July 8 = Came in and worked seven and a half hours, to make up for having an unpaid holiday on the Fourth of July.

July 10 = After the Sunday service, the church I am attending held a backyard cookout at a member’s house, so I spent the afternoon there.  He lives in the country, seventeen miles in the direction of Huntington (see my message from June 18); I found it an interesting outing just for that reason.

July 11-12 = More hot days, but not as bad as what we’re going through now.

July 11 = I attended my first Pre-Paid Legal meeting since arriving in Connecticut.  This group meets in North Haven, CT, a distance of 57 miles from here.  The meeting was just like the ones I attended in Kentucky; the people were very similar, and even the jokes they told were the same.  I liked the group, but because of the long drive, and a highway that’s treacherous compared with the Interstates I drove in other states, I think I’ll visit a group in Newburgh, NY next time.  According to Google Earth, they’re 10-15 miles closer.

July 15 = This afternoon was Employee Appreciation Day at work, and at 2:30, without warning us first, they brought out enough ice cream for everybody.  A nice touch; it’s probably the first time I’ve felt appreciated in the workplace since Christmas 2009.

July 16 = Back to North Haven, for the monthly Pre-Paid Legal seminar called Super Saturday.  Again, it looked a lot like Super Saturday events in Kentucky.  The main speaker was a pastor named Alan Plummer, who got into the business just to help members of his congregation, and did so well at it that now he’s pulling down a six-figure income every year.  In the middle of the meeting, another speaker, Kevin Palache, gave a message which probably meant more to me that to the folks living full-time in Connecticut.  He showed us a map of Connecticut, and point out that all the local Pre-Paid Legal activity is taking place in North Haven, Middletown and East Hartford, three spots in the central third of the state.  For the east and west, he marked eight cities where he’d like to see future activity, and one of them is Danbury!  That’s an opportunity for me, so how can I get a group started in Danbury, when my entire upline is in other states?

July 18-19 = Did some more exploring, this time to the neighboring towns of New Fairfield and Ridgefield.  This was prompted not just by curiosity, but also by my search for a bank that will let me deposit a check with the ATM card from my Florida credit union.  So far I haven’t found one yet.  By contrast, I found two or three banks in Kentucky that accepted my card for deposits, so I never had to move my accounts from Florida, while in Kentucky.

July 20 = At lunchtime, a co-worker discovered my car’s left front tire was flat.  After an hour in the heat, we managed to get the spare on the car and drive it to the nearest repair shop.  It turned out the tire was worn down to the steel belt on the inside, and so was the right front tire; it could have blown at any time, too.  Well, it could have been a lot worse if a tire blew out on the highway, and at work, I got all the help I needed.  We replaced both front tires, and since the problem was probably caused by bad alignment, I’ll need to go back for an alignment job on my next free day.  Fortunately tomorrow’s overtime will pay for the auto work and then some.

July 21 = After work, I was planning to go to the Newburgh group I mentioned earlier, but before leaving home, I got a phone call stating that the meeting was cancelled, due to a bad air conditioner leak where we were getting together.  According to the weather reports, the temperature in Newburgh was even hotter than here (97 degrees, with a heat index of 110!).  This is the first time I can remember a meeting of any kind getting cancelled because it was too hot; I don’t even remember such a thing happening in Florida.  Is “heated out” a good term for this?

An Ethiopian’s Journey

In the past few weeks I heard that the Israeli government is going to allow the rest of the Bnei Menashe, a Jewish tribe living on India’s eastern border, to come into Israel, because the first members of the tribe to be admitted have done quite well.  They are eager recruits for the armed forces, several have had enough education to become rabbis, and one became an army officer recently.

Now here’s a story from a group that helped pave the way for the Bnei Menashe – the Ethiopian Jews, formerly known as Falashas.  Many of them came to Israel with nothing but the clothes on their back.  One of them, Shlomo Mula, made a dangerous hike across the Sudanese desert, before an Israeli found him in a refugee camp and took him to an airplane going the right way.  Now he has become the second Ethiopian elected as a member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.  Here is his inspiring story.

Weird Al Yankovic On The Titanic (And The Band Played On)

I have always been a fan of Weird Al Yankovic, mainly because he and I are the same age, and come from the same town (San Luis Obispo, CA).  Here is his latest gag.  This time he has gone back to the accordion, the instrument he used during the early years (“Mr. Frump and His Iron Lung,” “Another One Rides the Bus,” etc.), when only Dr. Demento would play his songs.